Stepping into Vermelho, a five-star luxury hotel in the tranquil village of Melides, Portugal, is akin to taking a grand tour of global aesthetics. From the moment you pass through its imposing dark wooden entrance, the brainchild of the legendary Christian Louboutin takes you on an immersive journey of sensual indulgence, tasteful luxury, and exotic charm.
Melides, a pristine haven a mere hour and a half south of Lisbon, is an untamed secret that has managed to retain its timeless appeal. The village square boasts quaint terracotta-roofed cottages, tiny family-run restaurants, and a whitewashed church spire, all exuding an air of tranquillity that’s almost palpable.
The luxury hotel Vermelho, the first from the renowned designer, represents a harmonious fusion of modernity and rustic allure. The exterior, designed in collaboration with Portuguese architect Madalena Caiado, effortlessly blends into the local setting with its powder-blue and white walls, delicately carved chimneys, and sloping roofs.
Louboutin’s love for diverse cultures is evident throughout the hotel’s design. From the coffered ceilings reminiscent of traditional Portuguese houses to the stunning azulejo mural, the interiors are a tribute to his French and Egyptian roots and his extensive travels. French geometric flooring, alabaster walls in the calming massage suite inspired by Luxor, and Indian-inspired glass tiles coalesce to create a unique and eclectic environment.
Every corner reveals a new surprise: a Testa di Moro, a surreal wall of jewel-toned ceramic macaw heads, or the beautiful garden designed by French landscape architect Louis Benech. Bursting with local flora, the garden houses a plunge pool watched over by an elaborate Neptune statue by Giuseppe Ducrot. Vermelho’s aesthetic highlight is Louboutin’s signature red hue, adorning window frames, staircases, lacquered tiles, and stools.
The rooms maintain the charm, being spacious and serene yet glamorous. They feature hand-painted tiles from Azulejos de Azeitão’s renowned workshop, polished parquet floors, Murano glass-style wall lamps, sea shell-shaped reading lights, and squishy floral armchairs. The rooms are filled with surprises and personal touches, including illuminated miniature art installations and treasures from Louboutin’s personal collection.
The rooms offer stunning outdoor spaces, such as private balconies overlooking the garden or terraces with direct access to the pool. Each room has lavish bathrooms, covered floor to ceiling with vibrant tiles, and equipped with fragrant Kama Ayurveda amenities, Frette bathrobes, and heated floors.
The property’s pièce de résistance is the second-floor suites, featuring walls adorned with bold frescoes by Athens-born painter Konstantin Kakanias. They offer breathtaking views of the village and the verdant rolling hills, encapsulating the tranquil allure of Vermelho. Vermelho is not just about aesthetic appeal and comfortable stays, but it also indulges the palate. The on-site restaurant, Xtian, offers an array of delectable dishes, from local cheeses, rustic bread with tomato jam, succulent duck breast, and grilled octopus salad, to velvety cauliflower soup.
With the promise of more ventures to come, including a new 10-room property overlooking the lagoon, and possibly a beach bar, Louboutin seems set to redefine the luxury hospitality sector. Vermelho, blending seamlessly into the environment while offering a level of luxury that is uniquely Louboutin, marks the inception of a new hotel empire. Whether you’re a fan of his work or a discerning traveller seeking unrivalled luxury, Vermelho, with its fusion of tradition and modernity, awaits you in Melides.
For further information, visit vermelhohotel.com